An Open Letter to The City Schools of Decatur - Operation JUST-US
City Schools of Decatur School Board,
Hopefully these words will come to you at a time when your minds and hearts are clear enough to receive them. I am a firm believer in the reality that “hope” is never a good strategy when educating and protecting our children. Approaching these tasks with clear plans of attack is the only way for us to stand a chance at reaching our goals of educating and protecting our children. We are at the crossroads and as you know, America’s public school systems have either been torn apart or have fallen apart by design. This is not by chance.
As school board members who oversee this platform within the City Schools of Decatur, my question is simple…”Are you doing your job for ALL of our students?” This answer is not one that is rooted in your opinions. This answer is rooted in clear statistics that have been created over the years within your school system. On a scale from one to ten, how well are ALL of your students doing? Within this group of “ALL” we have roughly 23% who are Black students. I am going to narrow my question to focus on this group within the group. How are ALL of the Black students doing within your school system?
Race can be a very touchy subject when dealing with school officials, school policies, school records, school privacy, school leadership and school progress. Regardless of how touchy this subject is, we still need to be transparent and honest. If you are really in your positions to create an atmosphere of higher learning for ALL, transparency should be easy.
I am not a bystander and I am not here by the grace of free housing. My family are business owners and property owners within The City of Decatur. I am concerned not only about my daughters’ safety and learning environment, I am also concerned about the school’s process of creating a safe environment for ALL of our students.
The ongoing Black on Black violence ranging from one-on-one fights to savage gang attacks (where as many as eight girls attacked one girl -twice in the same morning…separately.) speaks to the culture that has been created within your school system. There is a sickness within your system that has been ignored and these ongoing violent fights and attacks are reflective of a poor curriculum, poor culture, a lack of creativity and a failure at being honest about what is really wrong with our Black students.
How is it possible that these Black students can be in one of the wealthiest school systems in Atlanta and still behave and underperform as if they are in a third world country? The answer is rooted in the reality of your test scores. Numbers do not lie. If your salaries were based upon the success of your Black students how much would you get paid per year? These test scores that I question are the exact same test scores that helps the American government create projections of how many prisons will be needed in the future.
I am sure that all of you are familiar with the school to prison pipelines within the American educational system. Knowing that you are aware of this, my next question is another simple one. Are you creating fertile grounds to grow Black scholars and Black leaders or are you growing more Black criminals? Your numbers do not lie and your numbers are not opinionated. Please provide these numbers for our community to be clear about your goals for our Black students within this school system.
Now let us address the questions around safety. Who is in charge of securing these schools during these times of violence? Our teachers are not responsible for serving as security guards within these schools. The leadership teams within our schools are not skilled or equipped to manage this violence either. So once again, who’s job is it to secure the building and protect our children? Even when someone has to protect these children from themselves…who’s job is it? One police officer is not enough to deal with Decatur High School’s safety and violence issues. Two police officers are not enough either.
I am not asking for a police force within our schools. I am asking that we take a look at and treat the sickness that is creating the NEED for a police force to be within Decatur High School. Make no mistake about it, a security team is needed within Decatur High School…NOW.
So once again, to deal with this sickness we need to visit the curriculum, the culture and the lack of creativity applied to solving our Black student issues within the City Schools of Decatur. A Pan-African Studies department is needed. Mentorship programs are needed. After school programs are needed. Partnerships with local Black entrepreneurs are needed as a means to create exposure for these students. Job training for our students and even their parents is needed. These are just a few of the many things we need in order to create a healthy environment within our community. All of these things that I listed are the things that I have within my professional network, so we do not have any excuses.
Years and years of your leadership team ignoring and mismanaging our Black student issues is what brought us to this point. Make no mistake about it, your leadership team’s approach delivered our Black students to the edge of this cliff. Please keep in mind that your numbers do not lie and those test scores tell the truth of what has been happening within our schools system.
Our Black Children are not being prepared to take flight from this cliff within the City Schools of Decatur. Our Black students have been prepared to plummet head first, feet first, back first or stomach first from this cliff within the City Schools of Decatur. Now is the time for us to make a decision to teach ALL of our children how to fly. Anything less…is criminal.
The Truth does not care who tells it.
Founder of Operation JUST-US